Identification and Management of Patients at Elevated Cardiometabolic Risk in Canadian Primary Care: How Well Are We Doing?
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BACKGROUND: We evaluated the risk assessment and management patterns employed by primary care physicians in patients at elevated cardiometabolic risk. METHODS: Between April 2011 and March 2012, multiple physicians from 9 Primary Care Teams (PCTs) and 88 physicians from traditional nonteam (Solo) practices completed a practice assessment on the management of 2461 patients > 40 years old with no clinical evidence of cardiovascular disease and diagnosed with at least 1 of the following: dyslipidemia, type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM), or hypertension. RESULTS: Individuals with dyslipidemia, T2DM, or hypertension tended to have a body mass index ≥ 25 kg/m(2). Waist circumference measurements, obtained for only 392/829 (47.0%) Solo patients, revealed that 88.9% of these individuals were abdominally obese and that at least 52.2% of Solo patients had metabolic syndrome. Cardiovascular risk, determined by the physicians for 83.5% of all patients without T2DM and typically performed using traditional risk engines, was often miscalculated (43.2% PCTs, 58.8% Solo; P = 0.0007). Healthy behavioural modifications were infrequently recommended (< 50%). Pharmacotherapy was widely used (> 70%) but treatment targets were infrequently met. The composite outcome of guideline-recommended low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, glycemic, and blood pressure targets was met by 9.0% and 8.1% of patients managed by PCT and Solo physicians respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Obesity and cardiovascular risk were underassessed and the latter often underestimated. Patients were infrequently counselled on the benefits of healthy behavioural changes. A paradigm change in assessing and managing obesity and cardiovascular risk via aggressive lifestyle interventions is warranted in individuals at elevated cardiometabolic risk.
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